Developments from MOM

Newly released figures by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) point to a slowdown in recruitment for Q3 of 2008. Three sectors – manufacturing, financial services, and transport and services – were badly hit.

Hiring in the manufacturing sector dropped by 1.3% in Q4, despite a 2.3% increase in hiring just prior to the final quarter. Hiring of PMETs also lapsed to just 1.2%.

In that same period, hiring in the financial sector fell from 2.8% to 1.9%. However, analysts note that smaller financial firms which do not have their whole foot in the US market are still poised to ride on growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Finally, in the transport and storage sectors, recruitment dropped from 2.5% in Q3 to 1.7% in Q4.

In other news, MOM has set up a taskforce to detect malpractices by employers, such as failure to pay workers' salaries on time. Minister for Manpower Gan Kim Yong said that the taskforce will consolidate and analyse information surfaced from MOM's inspections, as well as intelligence it receives.

More good news for foreign workers also comes in the form of Avery Lodge, a newly opened worker dormitory with a capacity of 8,000 beds.